A randomized trial of birthing with and without stirrups

Marlene M. Corton, Janice C. Lankford, Rebecca Ames, Donald D. McIntire, James M. Alexander, Kenneth J. Leveno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether bed delivery without stirrups reduces the incidence of perineal lacerations compared with delivery in stirrups. Study Design: In this randomized trial, we compared bed delivery without stirrups with delivery in stirrups in nulliparous women. The primary outcome was any perineal laceration (first through fourth degree). Results: One hundred eight women were randomized to delivery without stirrups and 106 to stirrups. A total of 82 women randomized to no stirrups (76%) sustained perineal lacerations compared with 83 in women allocated to stirrups (78%) (P =.8). There was no significant difference in the severity of lacerations or in obstetric outcomes such as prolonged second stage of labor, forceps delivery, or cesarean birth. Similarly, infant outcomes were unaffected. Conclusion: Our results do not incriminate stirrups as a cause of perineal lacerations. Alternatively, our findings of no difference in perineal lacerations suggest that delivering in bed without stirrups confers no advantages or disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133.e1-133.e5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • bed delivery
  • delivery position
  • delivery posture
  • stirrups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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